Wednesday, September 29, 2010

October is National Animal Protection & Safety Month and National Pet Wellness Month: Do you know First Aid or CPR for your canine?

You arrive home and discover your beloved pet is injured and bleeding. Or, he is in the middle of a seizure, or has stopped breathing. What do you do? While these are extremely scary scenarios, do you know what you would do first? Do you know if CPR is required? Do you know how to administer CPR or First Aid? Do you have a method of moving an unconscious and injured pet, especially if it is a large breed? Are the phone numbers handy for your vet, emergency hospital, and poison control centers? Are they pre-programmed in your phone? Do you have someone to call who can help you?

Our Bandit practicing her Pet First Aid.
These and many other questions were recently answered during a Pet First Aid (American Safety & Health Institute) program recently sponsored by Paws Unlimited, an animal rescue located in Upstate New York. Charles and Donna, the husband and wife team of instructors from Emergency Educational Training, have over 20 years of experience in the healthcare field and have certifications through the American Heart Association, American Safety & Health Institute, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; as well as being pet owners who are very involved with animals and rescue organizations nationwide.
The class included many demonstrations, including hands-on CPR lessons for all sized dogs, as well as puppies and cats. The practice sessions were conducted on “breathing” stuffed canine mannequins, as well as demos on “Kory,” the very accommodating live canine model whose Hu-Mom, Danielle, is the operations manager at Paws Unlimited.
If you haven’t thought about an emergency scenario for your pets, this is a good time to do so. Since one of my Sibes is an epileptic who has gone through some pretty scary seizures similar to the scenario above before being diagnosed, I do have a First Aid kit, notebook with instructions on what to do if he has as seizure, medicine dosage, as well as phone numbers in case our pet sitter needs it. I also have a ramp for transporting if needed. Since he is a large wooly and now (after meds) weighs in typically at 108 to 112 pounds, if he needed to be evacuated to the vet’s, I can turn the ramp into a stretcher.

If you haven't already done so, keep pet poison control telephone numbers where you can see them.

The American Red Cross also offers programs in pet First Aid, and has a sample First Aid kit checklist, and tips for disaster preparedness for pets. 

October is National Animal Protection and Safety Month (Animal Rescue Service; United Animal Nations) and National Pet Wellness Month (American Veterinary Medical Association what better time to check your pet's vitals, start or stock up your pet First Aid kit, form a pet emergency plan, and take a canine CPR/First Aid program. It could just save your furpal’s life.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hiking to Help Huskies

Today was the Tails on the Trails fundraising event to benefit homeless and abused Siberian Huskies through the Tails of the Tundra Siberian Husky Rescue (TOTTSHR). Our "kids" had a lot of fun being "remote walkers" here at home helping to raise awareness about the Siberian Husky breed and for those in desperate need of a loving Hu-family. We sincerely thank all the folks who pledged donations that will go to benefit less fortunate Sibes through the TOTTSHR. We hope you enjoy this slideshow of the FiveSibes as they prepared to go for their walk (and later take a nap!) in the name of helping others!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

FiveSibes are taking a hike...all for a good cause; to benefit homeless Siberian Huskies

The FiveSibes are eagerly looking forward to taking a hike this Saturday during the annual Tails on the Trails fundraiser to benefit Tails of the Tundra Siberian Husky Rescue. Please visit our PayPal Pledge Page and look for the photo of the FiveSibes. Since I am enrolled in a canine CPR/First Aid program that day, we won't be physically at the event, however, we will be there in spirit and are participating as "remote" hikers and will be walking in our hometown to raise awareness for and about Siberian Huskies and the TOTTSHR. I promise to post photos of the FiveSibes enjoying their fundraising jaunt! If you would like to pledge in the name of FiveSibes, that would be "paw"some and greatly appreciated by all the Sibes who are helped by the great Sibe-loving volunteers at TOTTSHR. Woos and thank yous!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's National Dog Week (and Pet Blog Hop)! Let's Celebrate!

Along with welcoming in the crisp, cooler weather this week, we also roll out the carpet for National Dog Week that takes place this year September 19 - 25. While in our humble abode, every day is “Dog Day,” we will be celebrating it in typical Sibe-style: running, playing, eating, and posing for photos. And, for a tidbit of pop culture–the FiveSibesMom (yours truly!) was born and married during this wonderful week! Fitting, wouldn’t you say?!

National Dog Week celebrates that special bond between dog and owner; a bond that includes traits of love, loyalty, devotion, trust, forgiveness, companionship. They give us such happiness. They are truly our best friends. 

According to, the origins of the phrase “man’s best friend” began with Sen. George Graham Vest, a lawyer from Missouri Vest, who during a closing argument for a client whose dog was deliberately shot and killed by a neighbor, gave such a strong and moving speech to the jury, that the case was won and the speech, which became the famous Tribute to the American Dog, was placed on a monument in the state and has been recognized as one of the "world's great speeches" by the late presidential speechwriter William Safire. Here is a condensed version of Vest's closing speech:   

"The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith... The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.... He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. ... If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him. ...And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death."--George Graham Vest

 To celebrate this very special week:
  • Why not whip up a batch of yummy homemade dog treats for your furpals? And, for an extra special touch, melt down some vanilla yogurt pieces and dip the ends of the bones in it, place on wax paper to cool, and then watch all the canine grins and lip-smackin’ smiles on your best friends’ faces!
  • If you have children, this would be a great week to sit down and read some dog-themed books (with your dog right next to you, of course!) and take the opportunity to talk to your kids about good pet care and handling. 
  • Help the youngsters draw or make silhouettes of their dog’s pawprint out of construction paper by either tracing your dog’s paw with a crayon or pencil – or let him/her step into some wet dirt or mud and gently press his paw onto a piece of white construction paper to leave the imprint and then let dry. The pawprint or outline of the paw can then be trace with a marker or crayon, and cut out to make a stencil. Place the paw stencil on black (or any color) construction paper, then adhere it onto a larger piece of color paper, and voila! A pawprint silhouette suitable for framing or posting on the fridge! 
  • Take fun and candid photos of your family pet.
  • As a family, visit a local shelter and spend some time with homeless dogs that are not lucky enough to have a Hu-family of their own. 
  • Maybe you can bring a little sunshine and love to a lonely or elderly family member or neighbor with a visit from you and your best friend. 
  • Have a family picnic with your dog – and don’t forget to pack the Frisbee and ball!
Whatever you choose to do this week to celebrate your life with dogs, we hope you will have a “paw”some good time doing it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An Autumn slideshow featuring the FiveSibes (with a cameo appearance by Smokie the cat!)

The cooler weather has finally arrived in our area and we have five very happy Huskies (and a cat)! The friskiness, running, and howling is on the rise as the temperatures dip, and I do see wide Sibe smiles on those beautiful furry faces! To celebrate the crisper air, the changing colors of the leaves, and the arrival of all things Autumn, I am posting a slideshow featuring our FiveSibes (and Smokie the cat in a cameo role) in all of their happy, cool-air glory that I hope you will enjoy! So grab a sweatshirt, call your furbuddy, and let's all go for a walk to kick up our heels (and a few leaves) now that Sibe season has finally arrived!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Canine Heroes of 9/11: We Will Never Forget

 "If these dogs only knew what a difference they make. Certainly, there's nothing that can replace the precision of a dog's nose—and absolutely nothing that can replace a dog's heart."  — Bob Sessions, rescue worker, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

It’s difficult to believe the ninth anniversary of 9/11 is upon us. In some ways, it is still too raw to even imagine that almost a decade has gone by since that tragic day. September 11th has impacted our lives forever and has touched everyone; families and friends left behind; New Yorkers, Americans, and those who visit our country. My heart goes out to all the families who lost loved ones during that tragic day. 

Since FiveSibes is a canine blog, I’d like to reflect upon the call of duty the search and rescue (SAR) dogs, along with their handlers, answered on September 11, 2001, and their loyalty and perseverance to perform their jobs at New York City’s World Trade Center’s Ground Zero, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., the Staten Island landfill, and the Pennsylvanian field. Please take a few moments to watch this video from the DogFiles that highlights the bravery and dedication of these dogs.

If you haven’t yet read the hauntingly beautiful book Dog Heroes of September 11th; A Tribute to America’s Search and Rescue Dogs by Nona Kilgore Bauer, I highly recommend it. It pays tribute to the heroic canines who worked dedicatedly during that tragic period of time. According to the publisher’s statement on the book jacket, “Kennel Club Books supports the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (NDSDF) in its mission to produce certified search and rescue teams to protect our whole nation. A portion of the proceeds of Dog Heroes of September 11th will benefit the NDSDF.”

September 11th is a horrific story in the history of our country and the world. It is one that has so many heroes and heroines to respect, applaud, thank, and pray for, including the four-legged ones. Today is a time to reflect upon how proud and fortunate we are to be in America, the great “melting pot” with all of its freedoms and choices. Let us all give a moment of silence for those who lost their lives that fateful day. 

To our soldiers and their war dogs, to the many loyal and dedicated rescue dogs and their handlers who aided in the 9/11 search and rescue detail, as well as those who are part of all the various K9 teams throughout our great nation and beyond…we honor and thank you.

I’d like to dedicate this blog to all of the 9/11 heroes; to all the emergency and civilian personnel who responded to help with the heart-wrenching search, rescue, and cleanup; to our soldiers here on the homefront and overseas for doing the work they do so we can enjoy the freedoms we do each and every day; and to the approximately 300-350 loyal, devoted SAR canine heroes of 9/11 and their handlers. We will never forget.

Other links of interest:

The Canine Heroes of 9/11: Dogs at Ground Zero featuring many FEMA News Photos published in Environmental Graffiti.

Friday, September 3, 2010

It’s Back to School Time! Is Your Dog Ready?

Bandit is ready for her classes!

Back to school time has arrived for the kids, and with it comes everything from shopping for school clothes and supplies to picking out just the right lunch box to having your high school graduate move away to a college dorm. In all of the September excitement, let’s not forget about our canine companions, who just may have some Back to School blues after having been treated to a few months of constant companionship with the children and family during the long, lazy fun-filled days of summer. While the children and parents are busy adjusting their schedules to meet the fall agendas, our pets will be going through an adjustment period as well. As soon as the children go back to school, our dogs may become stressed, sad, and/or lonely with the departure of their buddies on the school bus. Here are some suggestions to help our canine companions feel more relaxed and adjust a little bit easier to the new school schedule:

Bandit likes to study too!
  • If the dog is going to be alone all day, do a sample run-through of what the new typical work/school day will be. By doing this with your dog a few days before, it will let your pet become accustomed to the new routine before the new routine actually starts.
  • Let him/her escort your child with you to the bus stop, the corner, or ride along in the car if you drive your child to school.
  • Keep the mood upbeat.
  • Let your children tell their furbaby that they will be back after school to play.
  • Let the radio or TV play while everyone is away so your dog hears voices and doesn’t feel alone.  
  • Call in from the office periodically to leave happy voice messages for your dog.
  • Treat your canine to a "doggie" snack when your child has his/her afterschool snack. After all, who doesn’t bond well when food is involved!
  • Let your child read/study with the dog nearby.
  • If your child moves away for college and your house is now an empty nest, you will need to fill the lonely spot your family dog will naturally feel. Some additional hugs, kisses, and extra evening walks will work wonders. There’s no better cure for the blues (for both human and canine) than spending some time together!   
I sure everyone's first day back to school is a good one! The FiveSibes and I also wish everyone a happy, safe, and fun Labor Day!